Review of The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

thestoryspinnerThe Storyspinner
By: Becky Wallace
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

The Story:
I found this book to have a wonderful, moderate pace which was absorbing but not break neck. I was able to enjoy taking my time to read this but always felt interested in the storyline. I loved that Wallace incorporated a good portion of action in the last half of the book. I felt that the magic, sword fights and horse chases were beautifully descriptive and so easy to visualize. I could picture everything clearly and felt that Wallace pulled from some of my early fantasy roots.

The setting was lush and though this is a fantasy the book’s world wasn’t incredibly far fetched. Many aspects echo our own world and you can see the author’s inspiration being derived from real places, animals etc (check out her Pintrest page to see more). I personally liked this aspect because it made everything very easy to visualize as well as the magical elements seem that much more magical.

I loved the Performer’s camp and the caravan elements. The namesake of the title- Storyspinner- was touched upon and there are a few scenes where you get to witness what it might possibly feel like to sit in the audience and watch someone perform. I could easily picture these parts as a movie and am ready to see a Storyspinner in real life (please and thank you).

Be aware- in the last part of the book there were some scenes with animal violence though it didn’t feel overdone or too detailed. It hurt for me to read but it did match the tone and storyline of the book. I just want to warn those that have serious issues to be prepared.

The Characters:
This book utilized a lot of point of views (at least 5) but it was done very well and each character felt distinct to me. I felt that switching POVs allowed me to see the story from different angles and helped enhance my reading experience. Honestly, I think it’s rather difficult to accomplish this and Wallace succeeded.

I did find myself favoring one character in particular and that was Pira. I really loved reading from her view point and watching the internal struggle with her feelings towards a certain Keeper. I thought her insecurities, jealousies and strength combined to make her a delightfully flawed, yet strong character.

In some ways Johanna was the main character of the story and I felt that she too was wonderful. She was loyal and brave though she carried some guilt and resentment as well. I felt that as the series progresses we’ll see more character growth for all the characters but Johanna in particular. With the way this book was done none of the view points felt all that secondary and each of the main leads had elements that kept me interested in their particular storyline. There are side characters and they were done very well. We get to see some of them from multiple point of views which I always love since you see different elements shine.

This book was not romance heavy -I felt that there was just enough to keep me hooked and to be honest I could use just a tad more in the next book. I have a couple I’m shipping so that’s always a plus.

Final Thoughts:
The Storyspinner was a very strong debut and I’m excited for this new series to continue. Becky Wallace’s writing was strong as well as her ability to reveal the story through multiple view points. I enjoyed her characters and my only qualm was the small amount of animal violence- though I can’t really fault it in this type of book–lots of fighting and magic being thrown around there will obviously be causalities. Simply, I’d like more now please.

Check out my interview with Becky Wallace and enter to win a copy of the book


  1. says

    Great review! This is one of my most anticipated books right now, I’ve seen so many good reviews for it I can’t wait for it to come out! I’m kinda glad that the romance will be light in this book because sometimes it’s just refreshing not to have it overdone.
    Glad you liked it!

  2. says

    I only just heard about this book a couple of days ago when I saw it on a Goodreads giveaway. It looks really interesting, so I’m glad to hear that you liked it. And I’m pleased to hear that the romance isn’t overdone – that has been a real turnoff in a lot of books lately.

  3. says

    Yay 😀 I’m so glad you loved this book Kristen. <3 I'm so excited about getting to read it soon. Sigh. It's so pretty, hih 🙂 Heard lots of good things. <3 So that you love it too makes me very happy 😀 But a little bit sad that there isn't much romance 🙁 but hoping I'll still love it, hih. <3 Fingers crossed there will be more in book two 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

  4. says

    Glad to see you enjoyed it! The Storyspinner has been on my TBR for a while now and I can’t wait to read it. I’m happy to hear the book wasn’t too focused on romance- I’m ok with relationships sometimes, but others I much prefer a tiny bit with the highlight on action. I wasn’t even aware of any other characters in this book save Johanna, so I appreciate you touching up on Pira in your post. Thorough review, I loved reading it:)

    Claire @ Cover to Cover

  5. says

    I’m really glad to hear you loved this one! I’m quite intrigued about the different POVs because if well done it can add so much to a story but it can also make the book a lil harder to get into switching from one to another.
    Glad to hear the romance is not central to the book, I feel like I need more of those books to read!
    Great review Kristen!

  6. says

    I admit that I wasn’t too sure about this book despite being a fantasy fan – I think the reason why is because it’s told from multiple perspective, but I’ve been seeing so many good reviews for it lately and the fact that you said the author handles the change of perspectives well makes me happy. I’ll def be reading this!

  7. says

    Great review, Kristen! Loved the use of multiple POVs – I wasn’t sure it would work at first, but it ends up fitting the story perfectly. It helps that all the characters are distinct but interesting too. Tho I definitely like Johanna’s and Rafi’s chapters the most. 😛

  8. says

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one! I’ve had my eye on this for a while and I’m excited that it’s finally coming out soon. Also, I’m glad that it’s not too romance-heavy — it’s always frustrating when the romance detracts from the plot.

    As always, great review =D

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